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Patrick Henry pitcher finds groove on the wild side

03/27/2013, 10:16pm PDT
By Bill Dickens, Special to the U-T

Right-hander goes distance for Lions tourney win despite five walks, four hit batsmen.

Patrick Henry High coach Jack Lococo can’t recall the last time the Patriots reached the finals of the Lions Baseball Tournament.

“I know we’ve never made it that far in my 12 years here,” he said.

In fact, Lococo said Patrick Henry will be making only its second appearance in the semifinals during his reign when they play host Westview at 9:30 this morning. The winner will advance to the 6A Division championship game at Westview at 3:30.

Patrick Henry (9-2) posted a three-game sweep in pool play, which concluded with a 4-2 nod over visiting Mission Hills on Wednesday.

Andrew Schultz, a 6-foot-3 senior right-hander, was effectively wild as he turned in a complete-game four-hitter. He limited the Grizzlies to four singles but issued five walks and hit four batters. He also struck out five.

Schultz was definitely working the ball inside, with his fastball topping out at 87 mph.

“I didn’t have my best stuff today,” he said. “But my two-seamer and four-seamer had decent movement so the batters were not able to square up on many pitches.”

Schultz, who has a 4-0 record with three saves and a 0.67 ERA, has committed to San Diego State. Though he might be drafted, he’s leaning toward the Aztecs.

“With me it’s education first,” he said.

Santa Clara, UC Irvine and the Naval Academy expressed interest in the Patriots ace.

Henry gave Schultz an early cushion by scoring three runs in the first inning. Travis Lamke’s two-run single was the key blow. Aaron Ping added an RBI double.

“Of course, it’s a confidence-builder when your team gives you a lead like that,” said Schultz. “But you can’t let up. I just kept working down. That’s what I always try to do.”

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